Movies You Aught Not Watch: Highlander: Endgame
Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.
Suppose it’s true that life flashes before someone’s eyes at the moment of their death. Pity the Highlander, then, that after 3,000 years of life devotes those milliseconds … to a memory of sharing crappy hot dogs in New York with his clansman. Connor Macleod (Christopher Lambert) and Duncan Macleod (Adrian Paul) aren’t cursed with living forever, but with a vendor’s inability to stock ketchup.
Strangely resembling Ray Bolger’s Cowardly Lion, B-movie stalwart Lambert bemoaned “the endless, mind-numbing sameness of it all” in 2000’s “Highlander: Endgame — his third shoddy sequel to 1986’s cult-classic swords-and-sorcery tale, buffeted by three TV series (one starring Paul).
“Endgame” passed the franchise’s torch to Paul, who’s dumb enough to grab it by the fiery end while resembling the test-tube residue of an experiment to combine Lou Ferrigno with Colin Farrell.
“Highlander’s” immortals are killable only by decapitation with the survivor experiencing a “quickening” — in which actors flail while desktop visual-effects software does its worst around them. The last immortal standing gets control of Earth (or something). Why friendly cousins Connor and Duncan can’t share joint custody is unexplained, but they’re pitted against each other by perennial heel Bruce Payne.
That’s all anyone who doesn’t catalog “Highlander” kills online could possibly comprehend about this mythology-heavy permutation while mocking its Casio-demo score, junior-high-play scene blocking, Skinemax sex scenes and oafish action sequences (e.g., a climax in the world’s only oil refinery requiring chains to dangle from its ceiling).
If only there could have been only one “Highlander.”